The start of proceedings at the Penrose Inquiry was delayed today (Tuesday) while the Chairman Lord Penrose paid tribute to Frank Maguire, senior partner in Thompsons Solicitors, who died last week.
Lord Penrose paid tribute to the part Frank played in campaigning for the inquiry which is into Hepatitis C and HIV infections from contaminated NHS blood supplies.
He added: “It's a matter of regret that someone who had worked so hard and as long to achieve this result should not survive to see the exercise completed”.
Senior Counsel Simon Di Rollo who is acting for the victims and their families, who are represented by Thompsons, added his own tribute.
He said: “Many lawyers regularly come across injustice, unfairness and deprivation. It is one thing to notice such things but beyond the individual case, it is quite another to do something about them. Frank did.
“Few have the necessary advocacy and political skills to influence decisions makers to secure necessary legislative changes. Frank did.
“Few have the persistence and single strength of purpose to fight for those that would otherwise be ignored. Frank did.
“His significant contribution to the setting up of this Inquiry is just one of his many achievements.
“I do know how incredibly impressed he was by the preliminary report and the power of work undertaken by the Inquiry team.
“For those of us continuing to assist this process on behalf of the patients, relatives and the Haemophilia Society, we will try to do so in a manner fitting to his memory.”